10 Must Know Skills to Keep Baseball Moms Organized
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Confession: I wouldn’t be nearly as organized as I am without virtual assistant AI technology.
When I say virtual assistant AI technology, I’m referring to the Amazon Echo. In our household, we have Amazon Echo devices in most of our rooms. My family uses these devices throughout the day to stream music, video call grandparents, check homework, and create lists. An Amazon Echo, and all the skills it offers, is the ultimate Baseball Mom organization hack.
Besides being great for streaming music (we use the Amazon Prime Music service), Alexa has lots of great skills that you can use to keep your baseball family organized. While not all of the available skills in the Skill Store are perfect, there are 10 skills that my family and I use all the time. These skills keep me organized, informed, and help me get everyone out the door on time.
Amazon Echo Show vs. Echo Dot
Don’t have an Echo yet? This is the Echo Show that we use in our kitchen and basement. The big point of difference with the Echo Show and the Echo Dot is the HD display. The HD display is great for watching news or youtube videos. You can also video call other Echo Shows (its a great gift for grandparents).
We use Echo Dot in our bedrooms and living room. Again, the big difference is no video display.
To use these skills, you need to set up your Echo(s) using the easy directions included with your device. Be sure to also download the Alexa app to your phone. The phone app allows you to remotely turn on and off smart devices, make announcements, and add reminders to your home devices even when you’re not home.
OK, are your devices set up and ready to go? Here are my Top 10 Alexa Skills for Baseball Moms and the ways that I use these skills to keep my family organized.
10 Alexa Skills for Baseball Moms
- Set a reminder – This is by far the most used skill in our house. We use it for reminding us to submit COVID health checks prior to practice or school, to change laundry from the washer to the dryer, to take out the garbage prior to leaving for a night game. The voice command is “Alexa, remind me to XXXX at XXX” as in “Alexa remind me to put boys’ baseball uniforms in the dryer at 7:00 pm”. You can also set up recurring reminders for every day, or certain days of the week by going to More > Reminders in the Alexa app.
- Find My Phone – Imagine you’re running out the door, and suddenly realize you can’t find your phone. It happens all the time in our house, and usually when we’re already late. Enable the Find My Phone skill, set up the phone numbers for all your household members, and by using the Alexa command “Alexa, Find my Phone”, Alexa calls your phone.
- Find Lost Keys – My husband is notorious for losing his keys. I get it, men don’t usually have a tote bags and purses to store keys in. It’s frustrating nonetheless, because it seems he usually can’t find keys when he’s in a hurry. Fortunately, we found an amazing little bluetooth device called Tile. Tile comes in multiple sizes, and simply attaches to something you don’t want to lose either through adhesive or a key ring. Enable the Tile skill (in the Alexa Skills store), pair the Tile, and voila – no more lost keys. You simply ask Alexa to find your keys, which activates an audible tone. Tile also has an app you can download to your phone that will ‘ring’ your keys as well.
- Calendar – Our Echo Show is paired with our family’s Apple calendar, which shows our family’s calendar for the day so it’s instantly viewable. To set up, go to Settings > Calendar&Email and follow the directions to link one or multiple Apple, Google, Microsoft, or Microsoft Exchange calendars.
- Weather – One of our most used apps is for weather. Simply ask “Alexa, what’s the weather today?” and she shares the weather forecast for your address. You can even ask for specific locations if you’re traveling to a different town, and you can ask what the weather will be at a specific time: “Alexa, what will be the weather in Newark at 2pm“? You can also ask “Alexa, will it rain today?” to get a chance of rain.
- Turn off smart plugs from anywhere – Have you ever gotten to the field and suddenly panicked – – did I forget to turn off the curling iron? Did I leave on every lamp in the house? No? Just me? You’re lucky. I’m notorious for forgetting to turn stuff off, so we remedied that by getting WeMo Smart Plugs. These plugs are great if you want the option to remotely turn off anything like a curling iron, regular iron, lamps…the possibilities are endless. Simply plug in the device to a WeMo plug, name it in your phone’s Alexa app, and then you can simply see if the device is ON or OFF and switch it off with your finger in the app. This is also great for turning on lamps before you get home!
- Announcements – By enabling the Announce skill, you can ‘announce’ the same message, at the the same time to all Echo devices in your household. Tell your kids its dinner, no matter where they are in the house. My husband typically uses this skill from the car on his way home to ‘announce’ to the kids that they need to be ready to leave early, come out an help with groceries, etc.
- ESPN and Sports Update – Enable the ESPN skill and your kids can get sports scores and stats to their hearts’ content. The other skill we use is Sports Update. Go to Settings>Sports and then add all the teams that you and your kids follow. Then use the command “Alexa, what’s my sports update?” to get news from the teams you follow.
- Routines – If your family has recurring actions that need to take place regularly, then Routines can help. Routines is a series of actions that Alexa will walk through automatically, based on a date and time, a voice prompt, or even a location. For instance, we have a morning routine called “Good Morning”. Every weekday morning at 7:30 am when my kids are eating breakfast, our Kitchen Echo starts the routine automatically. Alexa runs through the day’s calendar, tells us the weather, and gives my boys ESPN highlights. We then have reminders to walk out to the bus stop. To set up a routine, go to Routines, touch the + symbol in the upper right hand corner, then walk through the steps to create your own routines.
- Task Tracker – My personal favorite – you can now set up a ‘Task Tracker’ in Alexa Blueprints. On the ‘More’ Screen, go to Blueprints>Home>Task Tracker and follow the directions to easily create a custom checklist for your kids to follow. If your kids are struggling with getting in a routine like getting ready for school or getting ready for bed at night, the task tracker can help make sure they complete all tasks, at least temporarily until the tasks become habit.
In conclusion, Amazon Echo devices can be a valuable tool for any baseball family. Not only can you stream music and video call relatives, but there are a number of skills that can benefit any busy sports family. It truly is the ultimate Baseball Mom organization hack. Enable these 10 Alexa skills for baseball moms, and help keep your family organized, informed, and on time for all the craziness of baseball season.
Looking for more Baseball Mom Organization tips? Check out these two recent blog posts: